5 Easy Steps for Planning Your Content

As we move into the new year, we all need to take stock of what we’re doing online and making sure our activities are getting results. Or are we just publishing more and more content without tying any of it to goals? Do we even think about connecting with our “friends, fans and followers” anymore, or are we just in the grind of the ever more demanding content push?

If you’re feeling burned out when it comes to producing more and better online messaging, take a breather.

Step back, think about who you are trying to reach and what you’re trying to get them to do. You need to have a plan, and you’re better served writing everything down in advance rather than trying to publish content simply off the top of your head.

Take care to consider the people on the receiving end of your missives. We’re all slammed with never-ending news feeds. What are you doing to provide relief?

Here’s a quick list of five steps to help you plan out your content in the coming days, weeks and months.

1. Articulate your goals and audience(s).

Use your overarching goals and objectives as your content guideposts as you build your “content grid” and identify the social networks where you can reach them.

2. Pick your “Anchors.”

Select content themes that anchor your brand, and convey your core messages. These help you channel your content creation in a more focused manner. You can pick popular themes such as Tech Tuesday or Throwback Thursday to appropriately enter conversations already happening online or develop your own related to your business or organization.

3. Identify Key Events.

Use time-sensitive happenings that require “messaging swells” as secondary content anchors. These are posts that fill your content grid to help build momentum before events and keep it going after. Build awareness and anticipation of your events by posting months out with a “Save the Date” then increasing in frequency in the weeks and days approaching your events. Recap events afterward, posting photographs and presentation summaries to extend the conversations around what happened.

4. Pre-Craft “Repeatables.”

Save time and reduce stress with completely formed posts and corresponding Tweets along with multimedia content (video, animation, illustration) that complement the text that you will publish throughout your week. These are messages that bear repeating. For me, this would be posts about books I’ve written that I should remember to promote or links to blog posts and articles I’ve written. Repeatable messages are more evergreen meaning they don’t have an expiration date, but they tend to be the things we forget to share on a regular basis.

5. Leverage Tech.

Adopt software like Buffer, Hootsuite and CoSchedule to schedule messaging in between the times you’re live posting to your social networks. Be mindful of what is happening in the world and in your community to make sure that your scheduled messages don’t clash with current events.
tech versus presence

All online marketing takes planning, some pre-crafting of content, a thoughtful dose of scheduling, and a lot of presence. Don’t let automation replace actually being there, interacting.

Your presence and responsiveness speaks volumes to others. Your plan and your social media editorial calendar should support you as you engage with others online, not replace that personal touch. And when you’re feeling overwhelmed by your use of social media, disconnect, step back, and take a breather.

We all need a break from this rushing torrent of words and images. With some space and time away from the news feeds, you’ll be able to refocus your approach and your messaging and return to it with a clear and calm mind to make stronger, more meaningful connections online.

What are you posting that is really connecting with others online?

Listen to my interview with Phoebe Chongchua where I speak in more detail about social media editorial calendars.

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